Q. I am a physician schooled in the scientific method. I trained at the most prestigious medical settings and have adhered strictly to conservative scientific inquiry.

Now comes the huge divergence between fact and fantasy. I have suffered from leg cramps occurring three or four times a night. The pain was intermittent but severe. I could relieve it only by walking around the bedroom—a disruption to a night’s sleep.

Now, though, I am pain free at last! Since putting a soap bar under the sheet, my cramps have disappeared. I have no rational scientific explanation for this relief but it does work. Someday this phenomenon will be explained. Until then, however, I am content to be leg-cramp free with a bar of soap under my bed sheet.

A. We are delighted to learn that a skeptic such as yourself has found the soap trick helpful. We cannot explain how this might work, but dozens of readers swear that it has relieved cramps in legs, hands and back. To be fair, though, some people report the soap approach is worthless. We are sending you our Guide to Leg Pain with a variety of other non-drug approaches just in case the soap stops working.

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  1. Haily
    Reply

    I suffer from fibo and will try anything but I was curious on where to put it under sheets? (The head, middle, or foot of the bed) Any help would be nice.

  2. ab l.
    Reply

    Bottom line it worked for me. Thank you

  3. TLC
    Reply

    I heard that it’s the sodium chloride in the soap that gets absorbed through the skin. Whatever it is, it changed my life!! I suffered horribly, almost nightly, for over 20 years with leg cramps and RLS – but no more!!!
    I heard not all soaps have sodium chloride, so check the labels.

  4. Sharon
    Reply

    Vitamin D made me have nightly leg cramps too. Thanks for confirming that I wasn’t imagining it.

  5. Paige
    Reply

    I have had intermittent leg cramps all my life but they have gotten worse with age. I read on here about the soap trick and RLS. I have my favorite recliner I sit in every night. I will start to experience the need to move my legs so I will go lay in the bed and wrap my feet around the soap. It will take a minute or two but then its relief. I have to have the soap in the arch of my left foot because that is where the worst of it is at. I don’t know and don’t care if it is in my head. It works. I do have to change the soap ever so often and I use dove because of the rounded edges. Thank you for the wonderful information.

  6. Paige
    Reply

    I have had intermittent leg cramps all my life but they have gotten worse with age. I read on here about the soap trick and RLS. I have my favorite recliner I sit in every night. I will start to experience the need to move my legs so I will go lay in the bed and wrap my feet around the soap. it will take a minute or two but then its relief. I have to have the soap in the arch of my left foot because that is where the worst of it is at. I don’t know and don’t care if it is in my head. It works. I do have to change the soap ever so often and I use dove because of the rounded edges. Thank you for the wonderful information.

  7. TZ
    Reply

    Does this work for pain other than leg cramps? Is placement of soap critical (ie:for shoulder pain in proximity of upper body.)?

  8. Vi
    Reply

    My husband and I both had leg and foot cramps. Mine were very severe. The soap didn’t work, but I may try it again sometime. My husband didn’t know it was there until he found it, lol. What I did find was that, vitamin D, calcium, and even calcium/ magnesium supplements were causing my cramps. Others report that as a cause of theirs as well.

  9. ll
    Reply

    May be it is the retirement home food. White foods turns to sugar which causes inflammation.

  10. Janet R.M.
    Reply

    The soap does work!
    There is no doubt that everyone who has tried it will attest to it for you. I find that by cutting slices of soap and placing them under the sheets at the foot area of my bed does the trick for me. I change the sheets once a week and always remember to thank the little granules of week-ole soap for the good sleep I have received.
    (And the bed smells nice too.)

  11. R.Jacobs
    Reply

    My wife was having excruciatingly painful leg cramps after she got pregnant. She would have to get up and walk around or have me massage out the kinks. That all changed when we heard about the soap trick. I don’t know why, but ever since my wife’s grandmother told her to put the soap under her sheet she has not had a leg cramp.
    The only time one started up during the last six months we awoke to find that one of us hand knocked the bar of soap underneath the bed. It is the strangest remedy I have ever heard, but for some weird reason it works!

  12. Sonia D.
    Reply

    I have taken medication for years which makes me dehydrated on a daily basis. I have cramps in my hands, legs and feet at night. I will take apple cider vinegar (organic and with the mother; that is my preference) for the potassium or a supplement called Calm Plus Calcium with magnesium, potassium. I have no problems with cramps as long as I keep myself hydrated and take those minerals. Drinking water alone will not do it. If a person will prefer to save some money, taking magnesium and potassium in tablet or capsule form will also help.

  13. Angela
    Reply

    My dad has suffered from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) for many years. After hearing about this remedy he tried it and swears by it. To prove that it really does work I’ll share something my mother told me.
    While changing the bed sheets one day she forgot to put the soap back under the sheets and my dad didn’t know the soap wasn’t under there. That night he had RLS again. She immediately got up and stuck the soap back under the sheet while he was still asleep and the RLS stopped.

  14. mft
    Reply

    A potassium tablet about once a week has worked for me. I wouldn’t take more than that because too much potassium supposedly has nasty side effects. I just started doing the soap-in-bed thing too– if nothing else, it makes the bed fragrant.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IF YOU TAKE SUPPLEMENTARY POTASSIUM, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR DOCTOR IS MONITORING YOUR BLOOD LEVELS OF THIS MINERAL. TOO MUCH IS JUST AS DANGEROUS AS TOO LITTLE!

  15. bridgebum
    Reply

    Try a tsp of pickle juice. Works for me almost immediately.

  16. Las
    Reply

    Skeptic here but when you are in pain you are in pain and if it works it works. Even Dr’s do recognize Placebo’s as having merit. So again if it works for you it works. If it doesn’t it doesn’t or you tried the wrong kind of soap…. sounds like you need a castle type but no one makes that clear at least not the reviews I read.
    Try a cheap or Dial soap bar or one that is clearly labeled as Castle (castile?)…. Some place they say Dove for example does not work as it’s more a cold creme or was that just advertisement? And another thing that comes to mind… could you pour a bit of liquid soap onto the bottom sheet where your feet rest and have the same results, letting it dry instead of chasing that bar around all night in your sleep as some report doing??
    Just curious and love to think outside the box…make sure it’s soap or soap product not detergent such as for washing clothes or dishes, soap is the active word here. Also how about placing a pair of socks that have dried after pouring some liquid soap onto them or rubbing a bar of soap all over the inside of the socks before donning for the night? And maybe rubbing a bar of soap over the spot on your bed your feet rest too would do as much or more good???? It’s a thought!!!!

  17. Cora M.
    Reply

    Hi – I just heard about this and tried it for 1 night and I do believe it works – the couple I heard it from has not had any trouble or considerably less since they tried it – I believe the soap absorbs the negative energy that is stored in the body (feet) in particular during the day – Is there a way to do an infra red imagery of with and without the presence of the bar of soap – why doesn’t someone do a study to find the reason this works – it is apparent that it does work in many cases.

  18. Kriss
    Reply

    OMG!! It does work!! My mom has been having bad cramps for 3 months and Dr.’s couldn’t explain why. She has had numerous tests done and given many different things to take. Nothing has helped. So, when we heard of putting a bar of soap under her sheets we laughed at it because it was sooo bizarre. But, we tried it anyway. And she slept like a baby!! Wow!!!

  19. carlene d.
    Reply

    I have been seeing this doctor for my neck problems and really he didn’t do anything I needed to heal. Well besides that he gave me requip for my legs and I had to go see him every month in order to get my refill.
    I went to my ortho to check my neck and found out that I have to have surgery, anyway I didn’t want to go back to the other doc so I was not able to get the requip anymore. I suffered from my legs wanting to jump all night and prayed to find out a solution to make them stop. I could not sleep at all.
    Well I found this website and I have quite a bit of soap from our vacations we took so I took two of them an unwrapped them and put them under my sheets. Well the 1st night I lay there waiting for them to kick. They didn’t! I cannot believe this soap does work!
    I have suffered from rls for 3 years and to come to find out regular soap works! It’s amazing. All I can say is thanks for this website, and now I don’t have to worry about a refill anymore. It has been about 3 weeks since I have put the soap under my sheets and so far so very good! Thanks.

  20. carlene d.
    Reply

    I have suffered from rls since after my laminectomy in 2006. I was given requip and now I am at 4mg a night. The doc who prescribed me the requip, I do not see him anymore and really cannot afford to see him every month to be able to get a prescription of my requip. I had restless nights for a week not sleeping really getting aggravated because of the pain and sleeplessness.
    I looked for answers on the internet for help and found this site and since 8 days ago when I slipped two of my soaps I got from my vacation hotels I have not had any episodes of cramping in my legs. I don’t think it is in our heads because the first night I slipped that soap under my sheets I waited for my pain and it never came. I thank you for this site and hope everyone gets the relief I did.

  21. Melody
    Reply

    I am trying the bar of soak but either end up moving it over the side of the bed or chase it around. Also does it have to be a special brand of soap or will any bar of soap do?

  22. Henry
    Reply

    For several years the soap worked for me. Recently we moved to a retirement community and both my wife and myself, even though we have a bar of soap under the sheet, now have severe leg cramping several times a week, which causes us to get out of bed to seek relief. We walk and exercise as much as ever but our diet has changed slightly. Iy’s a puzzlement.

  23. Dottie
    Reply

    I just read the “soap” article, and have been using it also, for quite some time. I do believe it is “all in our head”, but so is a lot of other things. I think, for myself, I trained myself, when I “felt” the bar of soap, I didn’t just stretch my legs any old way. Instead, I took a second, learned to stretch my legs with my toes pointed up and pulled toward my body.
    I no longer have leg cramps, I learned my lesson well, and the soap is sometimes in the bed, and sometimes pushed over the end. I think a block of wood, toy, or whatever would be just as effective…just need a reminder to do it right.

  24. Ed.
    Reply

    Yes it works! I worked at a soap factory for 37 years and when I left and retired after 5 years I started getting leg cramps at nite. So I tried the soap under the sheet thing. That was 7 years ago. I will never sleep without my soap again. I take a bar with me every where I go. thanks Ed.

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